Shaun Russell Josie's Journey


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Inhaltsangabe zu „Josie's Journey“ von Shaun Russell

Some murders penetrate deep into the national psyche, and remain in the collective unconscious long after others have faded from memory. The motiveless killing of Lin and Megan Russell on a warm summer's day near their home in Kent in 1996 is a case in point, and there can't be many people who can recall these events without thinking, "There but for the grace.. ". But, as Josie's Journey so poignantly points out, there are many more victims in a murder case than those who wind up dead. For Shaun, there was the ongoing heartache of losing his wife and daughter; for Josie, there was both the trauma of recovering from a physical assault where she had been left for dead and coming to terms with the fact that her mother and sister had died. As you might expect, Josie's Journey is not an easy read. It is written in a deceptively straightforward style with no concessions to the sensational. But then it has no need of that, as even a minimalist account is the stuff of nightmares. Indeed, there is something about the very restraint of Russell's style that makes the subject matter even more painful, as one can't but help use one's imagination to fill in the gaps. Taking a child to hospital for a routine appointment is harrowing enough for a parent; sitting at a critically ill child's bedside, knowing your partner and other daughter have been killed is all but beyond understanding. But it's not all unrelentingly grim. Josie herself emerges as a remarkably strong-willed and opinionated young girl, infinitely more real and complex a personality than the saccharine version delivered by the media. Shaun, too, is not quite what you might expect; indeed to judge from his descriptions of himself prior to the attack he has become a much more sympathetic and likeable character in the past few years. Together they are doing their best to make sense of the incomprehensible and not to give in to the tragedy. One can only wish them both the very best for the future. --John Crace
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